MARIANNA, FL – A state-funded center for persons with developmental disabilities in northern Florida will pay $304,466 in back wages to 163 workers due to incomplete training and recordkeeping in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities – operating as Sunland Center – holds certificates authorizing special minimum wage rates for workers with disabilities affecting the jobs they perform as allowed by Section 14(c) of the FLSA. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the center failed to ensure all workers received the career counseling information and referrals required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. For failing to comply with these requirements, the employer must pay the workers the full federal minimum wage for every hour they worked. The investigation also noted that payroll records did not show amounts paid to employees, a violation of FLSA recordkeeping requirements.

“To participate in the federal special minimum wage program, employers must provide the required counseling and referral opportunities to ensure workers with disabilities have every opportunity to reach their potential,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “Sunland Center’s failures to meet these requirements led to costly violations of laws that ensure all employees receive proper wages for their work.”

Located in Marianna, many of Sunland Center’s 208 resident clients are employed by the center for work in the community in custodial, landscaping and recycling occupations. Funded primarily through the state’s general appropriations, Sunland Center directs revenue from the services into the clients’ welfare trust fund.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

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